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The John Galt Effect
Human Events ^ | February 19, 2009 | Dr. Arthur Robinson

Posted on 02/27/2009 6:24:36 AM PST by AZLiberty

A hidden effect of the November 4 elections and the national events that preceded them during this past year is perhaps best called the “John Galt Effect” in honor of Ayn Rand’s famous character in Atlas Shrugged.  It is occurring to a very significant extent.

Our technological civilization stands upon the shoulders of many generations of free Americans and the great accomplishments that they bequeathed to us. Among those Americans and their counterparts in other countries have been a small special group of people whose unusual genius, work ethic, and love for their specialties were especially outstanding. These men, by their examples, their creations, and their leadership of free enterprises, have led our civilization upward. One of the greatest privileges of my life has been to know a few such people.

Without this small group of people, the technological attainments of their generations would not have taken place. We know the names of a few of them, but there were many more—constituting perhaps one person in a thousand. Ayn Rand called these people the “men of the mind.” In Atlas Shrugged, under the leadership of John Galt, they withdrew their services. They would only work in freedom. They would not work under tyranny.
In reality, most men of the mind never withdraw. They love their work too much to stop and—most of them—love their fellow men too much to desert them. The forces of tyranny depend upon this. Without these people, even the small technological advances required by Marxist and Socialist societies would not occur. Yet, while the men of the mind do not fully withdraw, they have families and other loved ones for whom they are responsible and to whom they are more devoted than to the state.

As the pendulum of politics now swings toward tyranny in the United States and dangers to those whom they love increase, these men and women partially turn their talents more toward their personal responsibilities. Part of their thoughts, efforts, and ingenuity are lost to society—and this loss cannot be recovered by either negative or positive incentives.

Throughout our country today, the men of the mind (women, too) are watching the awful scene in Washington and its reflection in state and local capitals throughout the United States. They understand the consequences of the government oppression that has dogged their own footsteps for many years and that will grow much worse in the near future. So, they are taking actions to protect themselves and their families. We have no way to measure the societal effects of this distraction of the men of the mind. There are immediate effects upon our well being and long term effects from the things that they are no longer working full time to create.

What is the cost of the distraction of our real leaders—of the men of the mind—of the John Galts among us? I estimate that it is greater than the trillions of dollars being lost on government printing presses. Call this Y2009K—and this time it is very real.

Our existing power plants are still operating; our petrochemical plants are still producing; our military defense is still performing; our food supplies are still flowing; and the rest of the technological infrastructure upon which our lives depend is largely still in place. But the key people—not those we see but those we do not see because they are constantly engaged in real work—are seriously distracted and now partially engaged in personal survival.

Of one thing we can be certain. When the essentials of our civilization begin to seriously falter and this causes real harm, those who would be our masters and their fellow travelers in the media, academia, business, and politics will cast blame upon some of these men of the mind—and drag them before us for punishment. Our John Galts know this, too, and it is a further distraction for them.

Some of these people are leading great enterprises. Others are in the basements of our power plants and other heavy industries. Some are closeted away in universities quietly at work on the next generations of possible advances in science and engineering. They are easily recognized—by their genius and by the love of their work that permeates their whole beings.

One way to recognize them is that they constantly talk about their work to anyone who will listen.

Now they are distracted.

What are they talking about today?

Additional material from Science and Public Policy Institute:

Atlas Shrugged Resources:

•    Book Chapter Summaries:

•    An Audio Study of John Galt’s Speech:

•    The Book and its Ideas:

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 111th; atlasshrugged; aynrand; bho44; bhobudget; economy; galt; humanevents; rand
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To: snowrip
I am someone who did what you are thinking about. I've been “shruggin’” since 2003, when one of my larger clients (a former employer) tried to “nationalize” about 6 years worth of my intellectual capital. Decide to temporarily do without the income rather than to give away what was in my rice bowl for free.

BEST DECISION I EVER MAKE! I traded the time I spent earning enough to buy things I found I really didn't need and pay taxes for “services” I neither used or wanted, for time to do things that were in my and my family's best interests.

I took the time to improve my health. I spent more time with my loved ones. I explored new areas of knowledge and to develop new skills. I did more volunteer work in areas important to both me and the community I live in.

The way I see it, time is the most important resource we have, and it is extremely limited. We use time, as well as our abilities, knowledge, skills and attitudes, to create economic value. We trade this with others for the value we want that they produce. When someone takes my value without my consent, and gives me little or nothing in return, it is theft.

I don't like thieves. They will get as little from me as humanly possible. Raise my taxes, take away my freedoms - I'll shrug even more. Dirty little secret that the parasites don't want you to know is they can't do jack with productive folks generating value to loot.

I don't confuse “shruggin” with “slacking”. I keep up with the advances and changes in my profession, and I am more than willing - eager! - to return to adding value for others, making money, growing a business when being productive is once again rewarded.

41 posted on 02/27/2009 9:45:47 AM PST by Strzelec (I AM SANTELLICUS!)
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To: 21stCenturion


42 posted on 02/27/2009 9:46:56 AM PST by 21stCenturion ("It's the Judges, Stupid !")
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To: ozark hilljilly
re: Can there be a redneck shrugger?)))

Up against the wall, redneck shrugger!

43 posted on 02/27/2009 9:53:49 AM PST by Mamzelle (Boycott Peggy Swoonin')
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To: Strzelec

BTW, a fun little game you can play at home is to keep track of how many dollars your “shuggin” prevents the looters from getting their hands on. Make sure you consider the effects of your financial decisions (for example, taxfree versus taxable bonds) and the reasonable “opportunity costs” of not pursuing opportunities you would have pursued had not the looters/moochers got in your way.

Conservatively speaking, my “Shrug-Score” is approximately 1.0 to 1.5 million since 2003.

44 posted on 02/27/2009 9:58:04 AM PST by Strzelec (I AM SANTELLICUS!)
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To: Ramius

I didn’t care for Fountainhead and AS is too long by half, but still a good read.

45 posted on 02/27/2009 9:58:26 AM PST by BipolarBob (Even the earth is bipolar.)
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To: Publius
Ping for the FR Book Club. Atlas Shrugged is our current project.

"You can't have a free market without competition. Therefore, men must be forced to compete. Therefore, freedom is only possible through regulation." I'm paraphrasing an argument somebody made in the last chapter. Rand had a really wicked ear for collectivist garbage. We have the advantage today of not having to make that stuff up - we can hear it in the media every day.

46 posted on 02/27/2009 10:13:27 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: All

Our First Freeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Theme
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Chain
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Top and the Bottom
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Immovable Movers
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Climax of the d’Anconias
FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Non-Commercial
47 posted on 02/27/2009 10:16:10 AM PST by Publius (The Quadri-Metallic Standard: Gold and silver for commerce; lead and brass for protection.)
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To: Strzelec
Such an excellent post!

Shrugging in a nutshell.

48 posted on 02/27/2009 10:22:36 AM PST by whodathunkit (Shrugging as I leave for the Gulch)
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To: AZLiberty; Republican Extremist; Boucheau; betsyross60; kalee; shezza; fanfan; wfu_deacons; ...

Atlas shrugged ping!

Let me know if you'd like to be added to the list.

49 posted on 02/27/2009 11:20:27 AM PST by jellybean (Who is John Galt? ~ Bookmark for when FR is down)
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To: jellybean

Please put me on your pinglist!

50 posted on 02/27/2009 11:22:38 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Beware, world! I haz camera!)
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To: philled

“That is with the hope that there will still be elections in 2012...”

With this crop of adolescent psychotics, that is a definite possibility.


51 posted on 02/27/2009 11:39:05 AM PST by ripley
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

You’ve been added!

52 posted on 02/27/2009 11:39:23 AM PST by jellybean (Who is John Galt? ~ Bookmark for when FR is down)
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To: jellybean; ameagle; penelopesire; BulletBobCo; seekthetruth; Kevmo; gunnyg; ...

Reprising this thread:


Boycott Liberal Stores and Businesses

(***starting place ... add more when you find them***)

Quit giving Socialist’s your hard earned money.


Aloha Air Group, Inc. 100%

American Apparel, LLC 100%

Barnes & Noble, Inc. 100%

Microsoft 100%

Diamond Resorts International 100%

Foot Locker, Inc 100%

Frederick’s of Hollywood, Inc. 100%

Google Inc. 100%

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. 100%

IAC/InterActiveCorp 100%

Loews Hotels Holding Corporation 100%

Myriad Restaurant Group, Inc. 100%

Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation 100%

Powell’s Books, Inc. 100%

Progressive Corporation 100%

Progressive Insurance 100%

Ben & Jerry’s 100%

Recreational Equipment, Inc. 100%

Sonic Corp. 100%

Tom’s Toothpaste 100%

SPS Studios, Inc. 100%

Starbucks Corporation 100%

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. 100%

Working Assets Funding Service, Inc. 100%

Apple Computer, Inc. 99%

Costco Wholesale Corporation 99%

Amerada Hess Corporation 98%

Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc 97%

L.L. Bean, Inc. 97%

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts 93%

Sharper Image Corporation 93%

Signet Group plc 93%

E. & J. Gallo Winery 92%

Hilton Hotels Corporation 84%

Crate and Barrel (Euromarket Designs Inc.) 83%

Estee Lauder Companies Inc. 80%, The Gap Inc. 77%

JetBlue Airways Corporation 75%

Netflix, Inc 72%

The Robert Mondavi Corporation 62%

Triarc Companies, Inc. 59%

Brown-Forman Corporation 57%

eBay Inc. 57%

Sun Microsystems, Inc. 57%

VF Corporation 57%

Foster’s Group Limited 53%

CVS Corporation 51%

UAL Corporation 51%

More: (unknown %)



Poinsettia company in San Diego (supports Planned Parenthood big time)




GE products

Advertisers on MSNBC, NBC

Penn Brewery and Great Lakes Brewing Co.

L.L. Bean


“I think a more effective strategy is to put greedy Americans on a severe diet. “Starve the beast”, as one FReeper aptly put it. Every time you walk into a store of any kind, whether it’s a clothing store, bookstore, deli, whatever, ask yourself, “how do I think this person voted?”

It will be easier to answer with some people than others, especially depending on where you live. Where I live, I think I can approach 99% certainty in a LOT of cases. Then, ask yourself, “is there any way, ANY WAY AT ALL, that I can avoid supporting this person’s paycheck? Is there any way I can compensate for the $500 Obama Check(tm) that this person will steal from my wages? Use your imagination — I’m sure you can.

1. KEEP your old car. Detroit unions share a LOT of blame for MI going Dem year after year. If you’re a fan of American cars as I am, fine, but KEEP YOUR RIDE. It’s cheaper to keep it running than to buy new, and you’re starving the beast in the process. If the industry crashes, perhaps you’ll be doing MI a favor in the very long run when they won’t be beholden to those unions.

2. NEVER buy movies — buy a Hauppauge capture card and a $50 DVD burner. Buy Sage TV for DVR software. You’ll have hundreds of dollars in a short while and NOT ONE CENT will go to Hollywood. I made that decision years ago.

3. Don’t eat out, cook instead, even if it’s from the frozen food section. How did those restaurant workers vote? I’ll bet I can guess with surprising accuracy.

4. Needle and thread isn’t for wusses. It’s just a wrench for your clothes. “The right tool for the right job”, as our fathers and grandfathers used to scream at us. Save your dollars.

5. “Did I make interest work for me today?” Write it on an index card NOW. I literally just did that and I have it on my TV as a constant reminder. Don’t spend your hard-EARNED — EARNED!!! — dollars on greedy losers who want to steal from you. Make your money work for you, not them.

Email and share. Append your ideas as you can. Please. It’s time to hang together.”

53 posted on 02/27/2009 11:40:26 AM PST by STARWISE ( They (LIBS-STILL) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war- Richard Miniter))
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To: unkus

I know two of them, and I’m not talking of me. Two good men who withdrew from their very productive public lives to pursue low pressure low productivity lifestyles instead.

I know there are many others.

54 posted on 02/27/2009 11:41:12 AM PST by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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Thank you for that list!

55 posted on 02/27/2009 11:51:29 AM PST by jellybean (Who is John Galt? ~ Bookmark for when FR is down)
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I have been spending most of my dicretionary income on products from High Standard Arms, Winchester Ammo Company, and Ruger, that I have in effect boycotted every firm on your list.

Many Conservatives are doing the same.

56 posted on 02/27/2009 12:03:21 PM PST by Candor7 (Fascism? All it takes is for good men to say nothing, ( member NRA)
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To: snowrip
I'm with ya snow. Wife and I have earned near mid level six figure income for the past three years. I work 80 hours per week and am never home.

I am done. Told the company president two days ago that I will take half my regular base salary and back off to 45 to 50 hours a week. No more huge bonus. Told him maybe we can work out some other payback down the road, but I am not going to support this madness brought on by the communist in the White House.

57 posted on 02/27/2009 12:11:09 PM PST by suijuris
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To: AZLiberty
It is occurring to a very significant extent.

Not to toot my own horn, but I said this on Nov 5, 2008:"Now we're all gonna play Atlas Shrugged !"

58 posted on 02/27/2009 12:26:30 PM PST by Red Boots
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To: snowrip

You, in particular, are in his crosshairs. He wants you to think of others and share with his lazy assed brothers, sisters, and for balance, whitetrash who are unable or unwilling to fend for themselves.

Good luck.

59 posted on 02/27/2009 12:32:30 PM PST by balls (I have seen the enemy and it is Hussein 0)
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To: AZLiberty


60 posted on 02/27/2009 12:43:47 PM PST by Bradís Gramma ( PRAY! Pray for the U.S. Pray for Israel.)
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